Reading the Bible from the Perspective of Earth

The Earth Bible is an international project, including volumes on ecojustice readings of major sections of the Bible to be published by Sheffield Press and related publications promoting concern for Earth.

The basic aims of the Earth Bible project are:

  • to develop ecojustice principles appropriate to an Earth hermeneutic for interpreting the Bible and for promoting justice and healing for Earth;
  • to publish these interpretations as contributions to the current debate on ecology, ecoethics and ecotheology;
  • to provide a responsible forum within which the suppressed voice of Earth may be heard and impulses for healing Earth may be generated.

The project explores texts and traditions from the perspective of Earth, employing a set of ecojustice principles developed in consultation with ecologists, suspecting that the text and/or its interpreters may be anthropocentric and not geocentric, and searching to retrieve alternative traditions that hear the voice of Earth and value Earth as more than something of instrumental value for humans.

The first publications of the Earth Bible project are a series of 5 volumes providing a basis for an Earth reading of biblical texts and traditions. Norman Habel is the editor of the series.

Several resources are planned reflecting the orientation of the Earth Bible and seeking to provide resources for ministry in relation to Earth.

2003 Seven Songs of Creation: Liturgies and Worship
Resources for Celebrating and Healing Earth.
[Table of Contents 1-6]
(Available from Pilgrim Press, USA and local religious bookstore)

2004 Earth Child: Recovering our Spiritual
Connections with Creation
(Publisher to finalised)

2005-7 An Environmental (Earth) Reading of the
Revised Common Lectionary

(Probable publisher, Pilgrim Press)


Progress Report
A report on the progress of the Earth Bible project is available.

Ecojustice Principles

  • The principle of intrinsic worth
    The universe, Earth and all its components have intrinsic worth/value

  • The principle of interconnectedness
    Earth is a community of inter-connected living things that are mutually dependent on each other for life and survival.

  • The principle of voice
    Earth is a living entity capable of raising its voice in celebration and against injustice.
  • The principle of purpose
    The universe, Earth and all its components are part of a dynamic cosmic design within which each piece has a place in the overall goal of that design.
  • The principle of custodianship
    Earth is a balanced and diverse domain requiring responsible custodians who function as partners with, rather than rulers over, Earth to sustain its balance and diversity.
  • The principle of resistance
    Earth and its components not only suffer from human injustices but actively resist them in the struggle for justice.

"As members of the Earth community, we commit ourselves to joining with the Earth community in its struggle for justice by listening to the cries of the whole Earth community, and working with the Earth community to repair the damage we have done to God's Earth. We also commit ourselves to working with the whole Earth community to nurture life, both sentient and non-sentient, and to developing ways of living that sustain all life."

From The Adelaide Declaration on Religion and the Environment, November 1997

Australian Team
Norman Habel (Chief Editor)
Vicky Balabanski
Charles Biggs
Duncan Reid
Michael Trainor
Shirley Wurst
Marie Turner
Peter Trudinger

International Consultants
Gene Tucker (USA)
Keith Carley (New Zealand)
Heather Eaton (Canada)
Ellen van Wolde (Neth)
Gerald West (S Afr)
Carole Fontaine (USA)

Charles Strong Trust
Centre for Theology, Science and Culture
Adelaide College of Divinity
Flinders University of South Australia

Sheffield Academic Press
David Clines
Philip Davies


Volumes 1-5 of The Earth Bible are now distributed and available through the
following centres. Please also contact your local religious bookstores.

In Australia
Allen and Unwin
83 Alexander St, Crows Nest
St Leonards NSW 2065
FAX 61 (2) 9906 2218

In America
Pilgrim Press
700 Prospect Ave
Cleveland Ohio 44115 USA
FAX 1 216 236 3713

In the UK
Orca Book Services
Stanley House, 3 Fleets Lane
Poole, Dorest BH15 3AJ
FAX 01 202 666 219

In other countries
370 Lexington Ave
New York NY 10017-6550

In Adelaide
Pauline Books and Media
27 Hindmarsh Square
Adelaide SA 5000
FAX (08) 8232 2850

Open Book Publishers
GPO Box 1368,
Adelaide SA 5001
FAX 61 (0) 8 8223 1761


For further enquiries contact:
The Earth Bible,
Adelaide college of Divinity
34 Lipsett Terrace
Adelaide SA 5032 Australia